The Kashmiri Hindus exodus, how did it all start? The inside story!

RamachandraBhat K

Two local newspaper of Kashmir carried a press release issued by Hizbul Mujahideen, ordering Kashmiri Hindus to pack up and leave Kashmir. Aftaband Al Safa were the two local dailies which carried the orders on its pages. Hizbul Mujahideen is an arm of Jamaat-e-Islami which was set up in 1989 for instigating a war against India. The main aim of the terrorist organization was to separate Kashmir from India and merge the same with Pakistan.

The following few days Kashmir valley went into near chaos with the then Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah and his National Conference giving up all the responsibilities they had on the state. Masked men were terrorizing the state by waving Kalashnikov rifles, shooting to every Hindu who crossed their sight and shouting anti–India slogans.

Reports of killing Kashmiri Hindus started pouring in from all across the valley; there were explosions everywhere; inflammatory communal speeches made at every nook and corner of the region. The inflammatory speeches were made from none other than pulpits of mosques, using public speaker system meant for reciting the prayers. The serene region was converted into a region of terror and terrifying fear started to take grip of Kashmiri Hindus.

There were posters and handbills everywhere. It was on the walls of buildings, walls of well and all the empty spaces donned posters and handbills ordering the inhabitants of Kashmir to strictly follow Islamic dress code, ordering people to strictly stop the selling and consuming of alcohol and also banning the video parlors and cinema halls. The terror was to such an extent that the armed masked men forced people to set their time in accordance with Pakistan Standard Time.

Petty shops, retail shops, wholesale shop, business houses and homes of homes of Kashmiri Pandits were marked out and notices were pasted on the doors of the Kashmiri Hindus house which peremptorily asked the occupants of the house to leave Kashmir within 24 hours or face death or worse. In short Kashmiri Pandit were given three options to choose. Ralive, Tsalivya Galive (either covert to Islam, leave the land or face death).

Srinagar, 19th January 1990:

Mr. Jagmohan arrives to take over as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. Farooq Abdullah’s spineless government which had went into hiding following the attack on Kashmiri Hindus ceased to exist and resigning was the last option left. The government finally resigns and goes into sulk. The first and foremost task of the new governor is to bring back normality in the region. Curfew is announced in the region as the first measure to gain control over the terrorist. The governor hopes to bring back law and order in the region by this measure but as the Jihadi terrorists would have it they defy the curfew orders and march all along the region with their rifles.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists make use of all the public sound system at mosques to give out their orders. The terrorists defy the curfew and take to streets to continue their horror on the Kashmiri Hindus. Masked terrorists marched all along the region looking out for the already scared Kashmiri Pandits to shoot them at sight and kill them. The Pandits who were already engulfed in terror locked themselves in their homes thinking it to be the only safe destination for the moment.

As the day unfolded the instigation became more vicious and louder. By evening three taped slogans were played in all the mosques which continued well into the night. The message coming out of the mosque public sound system was: ‘Kashmir mei agar rehnahai, Allah-O-Akbar kehnahai‘ (If you want to stay in Kashmir, then recite Allah-O-Akbar)

Yahankyachalega, Nizam-e-Mustafa‘ (Rule of Shariah will prevail in Kashmir)

Asigachchi Pakistan, BataoroasteBatanev san‘(We want Pakistan and Hindu Women but without Hindu Men)

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